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Old Gala Bingo hall subject of change of use dispute

  • 01 Mar 10
  • Written by Charlotte Widmore

Gala BingoFew former Gala Bingo or Mecca Bingo halls have the chance to have a magic wand waved over them to be born again, rejuvenated and with the prospect of being full of fun and laughter once more.  A Gala Bingo hall in Kings Heath, Birmingham however does have the opportunity to fulfil a worthwhile community purpose once more but the project is being put at risk by a local councillor causing a stink about possible future parking problems.  The councillor Martin Mullaney has written to the local planning department to complain about what he believes to be major parking problems for the future if the new plans for the former Gala Bingo hall are given the go ahead.

Former Gala Bingo hall could be successful restaurant

The former Gala Bingo hall in question located on Kings Heath High Street which was closed down in 2007, has had an application raised for a change of use from a bingo hall to a luxury restaurant, banqueting and possible wedding venue accommodating up to 400 people and 300 covers.  The new owners J & B Sattar dispute that their proposals will impinge too much on the local through traffic and cite a former Mecca Bingo hall in Manchester which has been converted in a similar way which has not caused any parking or traffic problems.

Bingo hall could be given new lease of life

It is all too rare for a former bingo hall to be given a new use that will be of benefit to the local community, many sadly fall into disrepair and become eyesores; some are flattened and changed into bland car parks or rebuilt as lego style housing.   The old Gala Bingo hall was a Cinema in its heyday, built in the 1920’s the venue has always until now been a destination for local visitors.  The new owners have the vision and desire to bring this beautiful Art Deco style building back to its former glory allowing local people to once more use the building.  If Mr Mullaney gets his way however this will not happen.  Beautiful old buildings like this deserve to be given a facelift and to once more become the vibrant useful destinations they once used to be, they may not have lively bingo players visiting but can still be worthwhile.

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